Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Freshman lawmakers enter the lottery for offices

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Andreas Adelmann/Flickr

Nice view - but it takes Congressional seniority to get it. That's what newly-elected members of California's delegation in the nation's capital are finding out as they enter the lottery for office space.

This is the week California’s 14 Congressional freshmen enter the lottery for office space.

Doug LaMalfa, a newly-elected Republican from Redding, is keeping his expectations low. He says that at the end of the day, "unless you’re one of the really big shots," they’re all about the same.

Most House offices are small, crammed with computers and cubicles, painted the same regulation choice of colors. Don Young of Alaska has a giant bearskin rug on the wall of his reception area. Linda Sanchez of Lakewood has painted her office bright orange. A few are located on the fifth floor of the Longworth House Office Building. Many elevators in Longworth stop at the fourth floor.

But LaMalfa says it all boils down to the view. "Are you going to look at the back of an air conditioner on a roof or you gonna look out towards the Capitol Building." He says he knows it takes a few years of seniority to work up to a view of that domed landmark.

In the meantime, he says, "maybe we’ll just have to have good art inside the office."

He says his wife is picking his lottery number for luck.

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